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Did We Forget Someone? Students' Computer Access and Literacy for CALL

Issue: Vol 25 No. 3 (2008)

Journal: CALICO Journal

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/cj.v25i3.482-509


Students' computer access and literacy in the context of CALL has seen very little empirical investigation. This study surveyed 911 students in basic college foreign language programs to estimate their readiness for hybrid language instruction. The questions on the survey covered issues concerning students' ownership and accessibility of technology tools, their level of ability to perform computer-based tasks, their personal and academic/professional use of multimedia tools, and their interests in hybrid language instruction. We found that students tend not to have adequate access to or literacy in using specialized tools that are often necessary for CALL, tools that students normally do not use or need access to in their daily personal and/or academic computer use. Training is needed not because students do not have computer access or literacy or because they are unable to transfer their computer skills that they have acquired in their personal lives--as other CALL researchers have reported--but because of the specialized nature of CALL tasks. We conclude the article by discussing how administrators and teachers need to consider their own students' computer access and literacy before implementing fully online or hybrid language learning programs.

Author: Paula Winke, Senta Goertler

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